Unmesh Desai: Budgets top agenda for January

Unmesh Desai

news london

THE New Year at City Hall has already got off to a busy start.

This month, we start our scrutiny of the Mayor’s Budget. This includes the budget for the running of City Hall, along with the GLA’s other functional bodies: Transport for London, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, the London Legacy Development Corporation, and the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation.

I sit on the budget and performance committee here at City Hall and we have been questioning the Mayor, TfL, the Metropolitan Police and London Fire Brigade regarding their budgets and financial plans for the next year. These are then looked at again by the full London Assembly before the Budget is formally agreed in late February. Part of the council tax you pay goes to the GLA to help run essential services, so it is important that we make sure that the money is spent wisely.

This month at City Hall we have also marked Holocaust Memorial Day. This year’s very moving event on 22 January was on the theme of ‘The Power of Words’.

We heard from Holocaust survivor Manfred Goldberg, and from Kemal Pervanic, a survivor of the Bosnian genocide. Their speeches served as a moving reminder of these events, and help ensure that we never forget the horrors some people have endured.

At the ceremony, we also heard from Holocaust Educational Trust ambassadors about their own personal reflections after visiting the Auschwitz concentration camp and their commitments to ensuring that the horrors of the Holocaust and other genocides are not repeated in the future.